Happy New Year! Before we dive into fresh content for 2018, we wanted to take a moment and revisit some of our most popular Booksource blog posts of 2017. These are the posts that you read, shared with your friends and colleagues and hopefully tucked away in your idea file to return to when you need a dose of inspiration!

Dr. Richard Allington

The Reading Achievement Gap: Why Do Poor Students Lag Behind Rich Students in Reading Development?

Originally published in 2015, this guest post from Dr. Richard Allington, Ph.D. and Anne McGill-Franzen, Ph.D. remains our most visited year after year. The noted researchers emphasize how distributing summer books to students can solve the problem of summer reading loss, but question why summer book access remains limited for low-income students during the summer months.   

“In our view, the summer reading loss and the widening rich/poor reading achievement gap are both solvable problems. But few schools seem to have implemented any strategy to attempt to equalize children’s access to books during the summer months.”


independent reading

8 Alternatives to Reading Logs for Student Accountability

Looking for new and authentic ways to hold students accountable for independent reading? We rounded up eight alternatives to traditional reading logs—and teachers have loved the suggestions! 




Lauren Wolk on Teaching Novels

From Reluctant to Engaged: 4 Secrets to End Fake Reading

Fake reading is a real problem, but there are ways for teachers to engage kids and finally get them hooked on books. In this post, veteran teacher Kelli Westmoreland shares four of her favorites.




high-quality classroom library

6 Essentials of a High-Quality Classroom Library

When designed properly, a classroom library functions as an exceptional teaching tool. What do you need to build one? Read this popular post and see for yourself!




Mentor Texts for Opinion Writing

Top 10 Mentor Texts for Opinion Writing

These mentor texts offer opinion and persuasion do’s and don’ts by modeling techniques, counter claims, validity and alternate points of view. They may be picture books, but you can use them as mentor texts with students of all ages. 




17 Books for Readers Who Love Diary of a Wimpy Kid 

What do you recommend when avid Wimpy Kid readers have finished every title and don’t know what to read next? These similar books and series come highly recommended by our title experts. 





The Best Books for Classroom Libraries: 40 Top Titles of 2017

We just published this post in December, but it’s already gotten lots of traffic. Our staff collaborated to put together our favorite classroom library titles published last year—making it easy for teachers to find the fresh, new reads that deserve a place on your classroom bookshelf.



11 Social Justice Books for Elementary Readers

As today’s teachers prepare students to face and discuss social justice issues, books can serve as a powerful classroom resource for highlighting social inequalities and fostering discussions. This booklist includes our own title recommendations, as well as links to external booklists and social justice resources.  




Books for Reluctant Readers

25+ Must-Have Books and Series to Engage Reluctant Readers

Some students have a more difficult time than others when it comes to finding a book they love. For those students, try offering books like these. 





Book Level: Independent Reading

What Makes a “Just Right” Book? Helping Students Find the Right Fit

“When it comes to reading levels, we have to teach our children to think past the level and look carefully at the text in front of them,” writes Reading Specialist Nina Mairs. “They need to know that what was out of reach a month ago might fit perfectly this week, and that a level is just a number, not an absolute.” 


What questions about classroom libraries and engaged reading can we answer for you on our blog in 2018? Tell us in the comments and we’ll get to work!